Author: Michael Rupured
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 256 Pages
At a Glance: Michael Rupured does a tremendous job of bringing historical facts and fiction together for an excellent story.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. Little does he know the world is already changing, and his part in it won’t be what he expects. A prelaw student at Columbia University, Terrence’s interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie, the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn. Too bad Cameron bolts whenever Terrence looks his way.
College dropout Cameron McKenzie left tiny Paris, Kentucky, with dreams of a career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he prostitutes himself to survive. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes. He’s in over his head with no way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve cement shoes and a swim in the Hudson.
Terrence finally confronts Cameron, and they return to the Stonewall Inn during another police raid. But this time the patrons aren’t going quietly. While Terrence sees his chance to stand beside his friends and stand up for his beliefs, Cameron sees the distraction of the riots as an opportunity to escape—even if it means walking away from the only man he’s ever loved.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2014.
Review: Terrence Bottom has grown up to be an independent young man. With the help of the foundation, he’s been attending college in NYC. When he has time to relax, he heads to Stonewall Inn with his friend Kelsey for dancing and fun. While at Stonewall, he often spots Cameron McKenzie, a young man who has gotten himself into a bad situation with mobster Frankie Caldarone, who runs Stonewall Inn. But Cameron faces yet another problem—he doesn’t think he’s gay.
Harold Clarkson has just graduated from high school and is making decisions about his future. Even though Philip would like to see Harold go to college, Harold has his own unique ideas. He’s also concerned about the connection between Philip and George. Philip Potter and George Walker still have an odd but steady relationship. They are a strong and supportive force together, but I still felt somewhat sad for Philip because he has to face that the boys are growing up and leaving home. He knows that the loneliness will be even harder to face because George can’t be a part of his life all the time.
Harold gets a great surprise from Philip and George—a trip to NYC for him and his best friend, Abigail Dombroski. Just the excitement of returning to NYC is overwhelming for Harold, and they will all be able to visit with Terrence. But this trip turns out to be so much more for everyone, as they will experience an event that will change their lives in so many ways.
Happy Independence Day is not just a story about Terrence and Harold growing up and finding their place in life. It’s about a time when the laws against the LGBTQ community were horrendous, and about how the mob and NYPD were in collusion. It’s a very thought provoking story with many tense moments, and I found myself fearing for each character’s life. Kelsey Ryan and Kreema Dee Kropp, are two of the most courageous characters, along with all the people who came together during the Stonewall Riots to stand-up for the freedom to be themselves.
Michael Rupured does a tremendous job of bringing historical facts and fiction together for an excellent story—his description of the clothes, music and the events will definitely take you back in time. I do highly suggest reading No Good Deed first to learn about Terrence and Harold and how they became part of Philip Potter’s life.
If the history of Stonewall Inn, which was recently designated as a national monument, piques your interest, check out David Carter’s Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution, as noted in the author’s Acknowledgments. There’s also an audiobook, Stonewall by Ann Bausum, in which Tim Federle performs an emotional narration of the historical events that surrounded Stonewall in 1969.
You can buy Happy Independence Day here: